Sustainability Report 2020

News & Stories

On the right track for energy efficiency

We use the energy efficiency indicator (kWh per 1,000 euros turnover) to measure our energy efficiency and related progress: Our aim is to be 10 percent more efficient by 2025 and 20 percent more efficient by 2030. Producing our products has used less energy since 2018, reducing emissions. We have improved our energy efficiency by 18 percent since 2018 and are thus well on track to achieving our goal. Although we are moving in the right direction, we must also acknowledge that these energy efficiency gains are primarily a result of higher turnover at Greiner Bio-One. As well as the improvements made, the specific energy efficiency in two divisions has also deteriorated slightly.

Energy efficiency (kWh per TEUR turnover)















Greiner Bio-One







Greiner Packaging














Greiner Extrusion








The Greiner Sustainability Report 2018 states 276 kWh per TEUR turnover. This was corrected as it included the turnover of a joint venture outside our system boundaries.

Energy efficiency in our production process plays a key role in going carbon neutral, and so we have also set ourselves a goal here. Measures and projects in this area are thus important to detecting and resolving inefficiencies and leakages (losses). This is the only way to reduce emissions across the board. We achieved energy savings of almost 6,500 MWh in 2020, which translates into a reduction of about 3,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

Energy savings

Energy savings (bar chart)

How we calculate our carbon footprint

Calculating our corporate carbon footprint is a key element of our Blue Plan sustainability strategy. Analyzing our CO2 emissions allows us to identify potential to make reductions and to develop suitable action plans to achieve our climate protection targets. In the past, we calculated emissions from our Scope 1 and 2 business activities, using 2018 as the base year. We expanded our emissions calculation to include Scope 3 categories for the first time in our 2020 carbon footprint. In total, Greiner’s business activities were responsible for Scope 1 and 2 emissions1 of 162,016 tonnes of CO2e. This means that emissions generated in production have risen by 3 percent since 2018.

Greiner (t CO2e)








Scope 1







Scope 2 (market-based)







Scope 2 (location-based)







Scope 3





Emissions – 2020 – Scope 1, Scope 2, Scope 3 (bubble chart)

Emissions Scope 1 & 2 (t CO2e)*


Emissions scope 1 & 2 – Greiner (bar chart)

Greiner Bio-One

Emissions scope 1 & 2 – Greiner Bio-One (bar chart)

Greiner Packaging

Emissions scope 1 & 2 – Greiner Packaging (bar chart)


Emissions scope 1 & 2 – NEVEON (bar chart)

Greiner Extrusion

Emissions scope 1 & 2 – Greiner Extrusion (bar chart)
* A detailed description of how CO2 emissions are calculated can be found at the end of this report.

The rise in our emissions is driven partly by our business growth and partly by the fact that the actions we took to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions did not keep pace with this growth. Our packaging division, Greiner Packaging, saw a particular increase in Scope 2 emissions. The technological process of the Greiner Packaging division, combined with a total of 22 sites across the world, mean that we are focusing our emissions reduction on this division.

Given the lack of energy data or a more precise calculation method, we have recalculated our emissions retrospectively. Compared to our first sustainability report in 2018, recalculating our emissions results in larger differences in scope 1 emissions. In 2018, we also aimed to include Scope 3 emissions in our reporting on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. We achieved this in this report.

Nevertheless, we will continue to work on improving our climate reporting. The GHG Protocol differentiates between a total of 15 categories of Scope 3 emissions. This report uses the Scope 3 categories “Purchased goods and services”, “Waste generated in operations”, “Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2” and “Upstream transportation”. Our production does not generate emissions from ozone-depleting substances and so these are not reported.

Cut specific CO2 emissions in half

Specific CO2 emissions (kg CO2e per TEUR turnover)

Specific CO2-emissions (bar chart)

Our goal is to reduce our specific emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 38 percent by 2025 and by 53 percent by 2030. Our absolute and specific emissions rose slightly between 2018 and 2019 and declined in the following year – down three percent in absolute terms with specific emissions down by 25 percent. This massive reduction in specific emissions was driven primarily by growth at Greiner Bio-One. As a company in the life science sector, the division was particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic: Based on its product range, this division saw increased demand and so was able to reduce the amount of energy used per euro earned. While our specific emissions in 2018 came to 111 kg per thousand euros of turnover2, in 2020 we reduced this to 84 kg per thousand euros of turnover.

1 Scope 1 and 2 (market-based approach).
2 According to the Sustainability Report 2018, our specific emissions totaled 143 kg of CO2. The 2018 data was updated based on corrected energy data and the subsequent recalculation of our emissions.

The chemical notation for carbon dioxide, a key component of the global carbon cycle. It is a gas that is naturally present in the Earth’s atmosphere and absorbs and reflects some of the heat emitted from the planet. Human activity massively increases the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, magnifying this greenhouse effect and resulting in global warming.
View full glossary
GHG Protocol

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol is a global tool for reporting greenhouse gas emissions. Companies use these standards to calculate their carbon footprint. The emissions are divided into the following three categories (Scopes).

  • Scope 1
    These are direct emissions from the company’s own facilities
  • Scope 2
    Purchased electricity, steam, heat and cooling that result in indirect emissions outside a company are reported under this category
  • Scope 3
    This covers all other indirect emissions generated as a result of activities outside the company such as manufacturing and transporting purchased goods and distributing, using and disposing of own goods
View full glossary
Greenhouse gas emissions
Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are produced as a result of the manufacturing and burning of fossil fuels, agricultural activities, deforestation and industrial processes and the municipal disposal of waste and wastewater. The carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases emitted as a result of these activities change the composition of the atmosphere and are a major driver of climate change.
View full glossary